This past weekend, I promised to post the recipe for lemon cookies my friends and I took to the fireworks show. And since I just decided to go to my grandparents’ farm in Wisconsin for the weekend, where there is almost no internet connection, that means it’s really time to post these! I absolutely loved them, and so did Britni. The outside was really crunchy from the turbinado sugar, but the inside was soft and tender. They were a little bit puffy when we took them out of the oven, and didn’t quite look done, but they deflated a little bit and were perfect. The only change we made from the original recipe was to increase the lemon extract from 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons, because we thought the lemon flavor was a little too subtle. Also, I somehow got almost twice as many cookies as the original recipe, but I thought they were still a really nice size (read: I thought they were pretty big). These are definitely going in my regular cookie rotation.
As a side note, there are no step-by-step pictures in this post because we were having too much fun to interrupt with picture-taking, but if you want some, stop by The Crepes of Wrath (also the source of this recipe), who takes lovely photos demonstrating each step of the recipe. Sydney’s was actually the first food blog I got into after a recommendation from a friend, and many recipes on her site have become favorites around here! Anyway, without further ado, the recipe.
Lemon Sugar Cookies (with my changes in italics)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract (I used 2 tsp., 1 1/2 wasn’t lemon-y enough)
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup granulated or raw sugar for rolling cookies (I used raw sugar, which I really liked)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or tin foil and spray lightly with Pam. I didn’t bother lining or greasing my sheets, they’re non-stick and it wasn’t a problem.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Rub together the zest and granulated sugar until the sugar is a pale yellow color. This helps to infuse all of the oils in the zest into the sugar and gives your cookies an even more lemony flavor. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
4. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, and lemon extract.
5. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.
6. Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls (I made one-inch balls), and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden and set.
8. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. As soon as the cookies have cooled, store them in an airtight container to keep them nice and soft. Makes around 20 cookies. I got 36 good-sized cookies.
Ok, and for the sake of geeking out just a little bit… The much-anticipated Johnny Depp/Christian Bale movie “Public Enemies” premiered last night, and because several Champaign swing dancers were extras in the movie (in the scene where John and Billie meet, if you saw the movie) and it’s just an awesome movie that was filmed in Illinois, Bordman’s Art Theater in downtown Champaign had a premier party and decorated the theater and the street outside like it was 1934. This included the vintage cars in the picture, and my favorite part, the signs advertising their air conditioning.
They also asked the Swing Society to come dance before the movie started, preferably in period clothing. And you want to know what’s odd? We’ve done so many of these that most of us have 1930-40s style clothes ready at a moment’s notice. Anyway, here’s most of the dancers who showed up (I’m in the brown dress, second from the right). Oh, and there’s so much hairspray and bobby pins in my hair (even though you can’t see the style in this shot) that I slept on it and when I woke up this morning it looked the same. I’m pretty sure that’s the only way women in that time could have hair that looked that amazing every day and still function. The theater also encouraged people just coming to see the movie to dress up, and a lot of people did! Check out the woman in blue on the right, or the guy behind her in the bow tie and straw “boater” hat!